TNT Diner

Good eats and drinks around Tacoma, Pierce County and South Puget Sound

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Archives: March 2012


First bite: Cliff House in Tacoma’s Browns Point neighborhood

Grilled salmon with hazelnut butter.

Last week, I told you about the transformation of the upstairs and downstairs dining rooms at the Cliff House, the legacy restaurant that has been closed more than it’s been open since 2009. Today, here’s an update on the food. Three weeks after reopening, the restaurant is doing brisk business and I can see why – the take-it-down-to-the-studs remodel has restored the restaurant’s charm, and a menu of Northwest fare is predictable, yet well executed. Read more »


Easter 2012: Where to dine out around the Tacoma area

Skipping the ham and scalloped potatoes from your kitchen? Next Sunday, April 8 is Easter and readers already are calling, saying they don’t want to cook this year and would I please write a story about where to dine out? Per reader request, here’s a working list of restaurants with Easter dining. Some offer sit-down service, some are buffet meals. Don’t see your favorite restaurant listed? Ask and we’ll check it out. And feel free to share information on restaurants you know will be offering Easter dining.


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Adriatic Grill receives Washington Wine Commission award for its promotion of Washington wines

Gearing up for this weekend’s Taste Washington event – an annual culinary binge where Washington wineries pair with Seattle restaurants for a truly gluttonous eat-around event – the Washington Wine Commission on Monday announced its annual wine awards for restaurants. The awards are given to eateries with wine programs that promote the Washington wine industry. While the bulk of the awards always seem to go to restaurants in Seattle and a few in Washington’s wine country, one Pierce County restaurant was recognized this year – Adriatic Grill, a restaurant I reviewed with glowing praise last December. Read more »


Coming soon to stores: Puyallup River Brewing Company

Next week, a brewery so small that it’s called a nano-brewery will join a small, but growing, pocket of South Sound craft brewers. Puyallup River Brewing Company will begin offering three of its brews by the bottle at the Tacoma Boys store in Puyallup.

Brewer and Puyallup resident Eric Akeson is no newcomer to the brewing scene – he’s been working and brewing in the industry since he took a job at the Rose Hill Ale House in Kirkland in the 1990s. Home brewers on staff there loaned him equipment and he started a serious brewing hobby. He took

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Finally open: The Cliff House in Northeast Tacoma shines

In February, owner Joe Nappo stands in the upstairs floor of the Cliff House, the bar and restaurant that he extensively remodeled. The restaurant reopened for business about a week ago. Photo by Peter Haley/Staff photographer

The two-year saga that has been the on-and-off closure of the Cliff House in Northeast Tacoma is over: The iconic restaurant has reopened for business. I stopped in and found a beautiful restaurant of restored, gleaming wood, a handsome dining room showcasing historic Tacoma maritime photos, and a knock-out downstairs that diners won’t even recognize. The menu is just what you’d expect from the Cliff House: seafood, steaks and grill-centric dishes with Northwest accents. Read more »


Out of limbo: Two restaurants (finally) reopen in Tacoma’s Freighthouse Square

The patty melt at the Boxcar Grill in Freighthouse Square. Photo by Janet Jensen/Staff photographer

For years, Freighthouse Square has been an incubator for fledgling restaurants. Some restaurants come and go in a matter of weeks. Some stick around for years – Paya and Mediterranean Palace, for instance. Others sprout business plans and duplicate themselves elsewhere – such as Wendy’s Vietnamese. Then there are businesses that grow so successful, they flitter off to bigger locations. Celebrity Cake Studio just moved from its longtime Freighthouse home to its own building on East 26th Street.

But what’s coming next for the mall and its collection of unusual retail shops and restaurants? That’s anyone’s guess. Read more »